Agenda and minutes

Contact: Nabihah Hassan- Farooq  Email:

No. Item


Welcome & Introductions


The Chair welcomed all attendee’s to the meeting and thanked SGI UK for hosting the meeting at Taplow Court. Members of the forum introduced themselves and welcomed new members.  


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Jacqui Hurd, Deborah Maynard ( sub Dave Phillips), Mark Sanders, Lin Ferguson, Hollie Vallis, Eileen Denny (sub Liz Barr), Barbara Grossman ( Maidenhead Synagogue) and Ila Gangotra. 


Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.




Minutes of the last meeting held on 13th June 2018 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on the 13th June 2018.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 13th June 2018 were approved a correct and true record of the meeting.



Serving Adults Through Optalis

To receive a presentation from Vernon Nosal.


Vernon Nosal (Head of Adult Social Care- Optalis), presented the above titled item. The vision and mission of adult services was outlined as fulfilling the potential of every customer, colleague and communities and to be a resilient, efficient and growing social care company which was capable of delivering high quality, innovative services to more customers, delivered by passionate and skilled staff. Core values were highlighted as quality customer service, respect, transparency and integrity, communication, continuous development and enjoyable and rewarding. Members of the Forum were told that the services provided by adult social care were community and application based and that various organisations such as WAM had helped in the delivery of services. Specialist care and support services had been separated into four different areas; community based, accommodation based, in the home and statutory services, advisory, brokerage and care management.


It was highlighted that there were 641 individuals employed within Adult Social Care and that care and support had been provided to approximately 5000 people. Care and support services were aimed at helping individuals with learning disabilities and autism, physical disabilities and sensory impairments, older people particularly those with dementia and persons affected by mental health issues. Members were told that services were in action across Wokingham, Ascot, Windsor, Maidenhead and Oxfordshire. RBWM statutory service delivery included safeguarding and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS), Social Work, Occupational Therapy (OT) and Care brokerage. Provider services included residential accommodation for adults with a learning disability, day services for those affected by a learning disability, day centre services for older people and dementia patients, extra care facilities, reablement and respite services. Quality assurance and governance was also delivered both internally and externally.


Members were told that central to the 2020 strategy was to ensure customers were at the centre of decision making and planning through co-designing services and business development. This would be achieved by customers having a greater input over the people who work for Optalis, such as staff recruitment and selection. This has been achieved  by including customers as representatives on the interview panels for key senior roles, such as HR Manager and Head of Statutory Services. Part of the strategy delivery would include the development of customer forums and the hosting of a customer conference ( to be held the last week of September 2018). Customers had also been able to nominate an Optalis Member of staff/team for Optalis Customer Choice Award and were able to work with Optalis to co-produce information leaflets. A main driver for success in delivery of the Optalis 2020 Strategy was to receive feedback from customers and this had been done in a number of ways, such as coffee mornings.


The Optalis Staff Survey 2017 highlighted that 72% of staff were satisfied with their job role, vacancies had reduced by 47% since April 2017, Optalis vacancy rates were currently at 6% (national average 8.5%), 94% of staff had confidence that they understood safeguarding. It was outlined that there was a robust quality assurance framework in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.


Driven Forward Charity - Introduction and ways of working in the Community

To receive a verbal update from Tiia Leoni, Founder of Driven Forward Charity.  


Tiia Stevens, Founder of Driven Forward Charity introduced herself to the forum. It was explained that Tiia had self-funded the purchase of two minibuses to help support vulnerable individuals who required assistance outside of statutory service parameters and that the charity aimed to help those who were socially excluded, isolated, lonely and vulnerable and those who were unable to access public transport. Opportunities to transport these individuals to day trips, appointments and social activities were provided. As part of the initiative, work with individuals around tenancy sustainment, cooking skills and advocacy support were also offered. It was highlighted that the charity had been registered and received a charity number recently. Work had been carried out with the seven churches to provide the basis for a homeless shelter in Windsor. The charity aimed to helped those who have already accessed services and had been receiving services such as housing and benefits. Part of the good work that had been carried out by the charity included; free hair cuts for the homeless service users, use of the bus to go to Jennett’s Hill allotments, mindfulness and tailored workshops. It was noted that the second acquired minibus had a wheelchair lift and this had helped with vulnerable individuals who may have a physical disabilities or older persons.


It was explained that the charity aimed to tackle isolation and loneliness in the community by helping to keep elderly and vulnerable persons mobile and engaged in services and activities. Members were reminded that Driven Forward was a not for profit charity and that the buses could be rented by other organisations if they could evidence that they would be used to help hard to reach and marginalised vulnerable service users. Members were able to access more information regarding the charity at


Driven Forward is a Charitable incorporated Organisation. A "not for profit" registered charity that has been established to enable adults in Berkshire who are socially excluded, isolated, lonely and vulnerable, and those unable to access public transport the opportunity to participate in: provided day trips, outings, arts and crafts, social activities. Driven Forward provides them access to a wheelchair accessible minibus and a 12 seater mini bus so that they are enabled to socialise and integrate into society and their community. The two minibuses we own are also available for hire to charities and community groups that are established to help the socially and economically disadvantaged


Armed Forces Covenant Update


Harjit Hunjan informed the Forum that the recent application for the employer recognition scheme award had been successful and that RBWM had been given the Silver Award. Councillor Rayner also informed the Forum that the scheme had momentum and that the ambition moving forward was to achieve the gold standard. Thanks were given to Thames Valley Police who had worked in co-production with RBWM to reach the silver award. Jeffrey Pick highlighted that the food academy banquet would be taking place on the 24th November and that any referrals should be forwarded to him directly. Nicola Davidson outlined the update and stated that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund aimed to support community integration and local delivery of services for families within the armed forces. The forum were told that the deadline for this round of applications was the 7th September and that the next date would be circulated to the wider group in due course. Members were told that the fund supported families in both the household cavalries and Welsh Guard. The Forum were reminded that for more details relating to the project and delivery that Nicola should be contacted


Adult Learning

To receive a verbal update from Parwati Mistry


Parwati Mistry outlined the above titled item. The forum were reminded that there were various workshops aimed at adult groups ( aged over 19 years of age) taking place across RBWM. Work had been carried out with various partner organisations such as Mens Matters and WAMCF to delivery IT Courses, confidence building classes and creative workshops. It was highlighted that these workshops take place at Woodlands Park, Maidenhead and Windsor Library and several other locations in order to make the classes accessible to all. The workshops were provided through a joint funded service provided by Slough Borough Council and WAM. It was noted that some of the classes could be provided for free if there was a demand for this and that Parwati should be contact for this purpose. Most groups had a small cost per session but that this was minimal in order to encourage participation locally.


Building Better Opportunities Fund

To receive an update from Joanne Horton


Harjit Hunjan outlined the above titled item. It was highlighted the National Lottery Fund was the primary source of funding for the Building Better Opportunities Fund and that it was aimed at helping adults with a lack of confidence who were furthest away from the job market. The Fund aimed to promote opportunities that would deliver on confidence, employment skills, training and sustainable employment. It was highlighted that there was a referral service that had been set up at Slough Borough Council and RBWM, which aimed to “ grow your own” by promoting opportunities for staff and future candidates for roles. At the end of the update Members of the Forum were advised to contact Harjit Hunjan for more details and information.


Winter Festival

To receive a presentation from Svetlana Zaychenko.


Zvetlana Zaychenko gave a presentation on the above titled item. Members were shown two short video clips of the most recent festivals that Svetlana had organised for the Russian Community. Highlights of the festival included dancers, singers and children’s entertainers. The Forum were told that the previous Mayor, Councillor Lenton and his wife had been in attendance at the Winter Festival. It was highlighted that more events would be planned and that the ambition was to delivery more varied for e.g. workshops for children and a modern Russian folklore concert. The forum were informed that her biggest upcoming project would be a charity event which would be ticketed. Details of the upcoming Winter festival would be circulated to all and it was estimated that at present 200 people had been invited and that this year would see a good turnout. It was also noted that the cost of transport had been significantly expensive as most participants attended from London areas and that any donations would be gratefully received.


Community and Membership update


·         Jeffrey Prick ( Thames Valley Police) informed the Forum that there had been a dramatic increase in the number of elderly and vulnerable scams and for all forum members to remain vigilant, seek support/assistance and report cases accordingly.

·         PC Louise Warbrick (Thames Valley Police) updated the forum on the minimised impact of the Royal Wedding. It was noted that a new Safety Hub would be launched on the 19th October and would be led by the Windsor Street Angels to negate night time anti-social behaviour. The safety hub would be run over the Christmas eve and New Year’s eve period and would run as a pilot initially and would link into support for rough sleepers and those without permanent accommodation. It was also highlighted that as part of the partnership with Achieving for Children (AFC) and RBWM that a month of activity would be launched around children sexual exploitation, rough sleeping, young persons and drug addictions and knife crime. The Forum were also told that there was a conference on PREVENT taking place in the last week of September. Forum Members were also informed that there had been 281 hate crime occurrences and this had increased slightly from last year’s figure (244). These occurrences included racially aggravated, religious aggravated, physical disabilities as the top reasons for these hate crime incidents.  It was highlighted that the highest offending ethnicity was White British, followed by White Northern European aged 31-35 with victims predominantly being of an Asian or Muslim profile. 72% of offenders were male and reports that had been reported were mostly linked to road rage, neighbourhood disputes or night time economy staff/services.


ACTION- To add Hate Crime to the next agenda


·         Paul Samuels (Mens Matters), updated the forum with details of the success of the monthly drop ins. Mens Matters had been registered as a charity for the past three years. Forum Members were told that the two year plan was in place until 2020 and this would involve the opening of more drop in sessions for Mens Matters in the Slough area. It was also highlighted that the AGM for SWAMI was taking place on the 20th September and that this initiative had been successful in bringing communities together. It was noted that the planned high street event that took place in July had a good turnout of attendance.

·         Usha Parmar (Berkshire Fire Authority), updated the panel with details of referrals for persons aged over 65 year olds, home fire safety sessions and fire alarm fittings. Forum Members were reminded that there was an open day at the Maidenhead Fire station taking place on the 22nd October which was open to all of the community. Risk Assessment support would be available on the day for officers or individuals who may need this assistance.

·         Parwati Mistry updated the forum with details of the ‘Healthy Eating Workshop’ which was taking place on the 5th October.

·         Liz Barr ( WAM Get Involved) informed the forum that the voluntary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.


Dates of Future Meetings

The date of the next meeting is scheduled as below:

·         5th December 2018 at 10am- venue to be confirmed.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as:

·         5th December 2018 at 10am- Venue (to be confirmed)